Beware of scam artists when losing a pet

Local News

Most people would do anything to get their lost pet home safely.  But, one local woman almost fell into what appears to be a major scam in order to get her dog back.  

While Raven VanDerveen was working, her one-year-old German Shepherd, Koda, broke through a screen window in her home and escaped.  Raven immediately posted a missing dog alert with her phone number on Facebook and Twitter, getting nearly 1500 shares and retweets.

Raven received a phone call from a blocked number; the caller claiming to have Koda and asking to meet at Jefferson Park.  On her way there, they called again.  She tells us, “They started mentioning a reward and I just kind of counted the cash that was in my wallet on hand and I had $60 and I offered them to that. They weren’t very happy with that.”

The five people wanted $300.  She went and waited but no one showed up.  Shortly after leaving, she started getting more calls from the same blocked caller; demanding she meet them at a house on German and East 28th with $300 cash.

Raven says she told them, “I need proof. I need a picture or something and they’re like ‘yeah, absolutely’. They apparently tried to send a picture, but I never received one.”

She drove to the address but stayed in her car saying she had a bad feeling.

When trying to find a lost pet, the best thing to do is utilize your local animal shelters and let them help you safely bring your pet home.  Ruth Thompson of the Anna Shelter says they will send their Humane Officer, Eric, with you to retrieve your pet. “Eric’s gone with the owner and gotten the dog back because animals are property in Pennsylvania so whether you think it shouldn’t go back home or not, it’s not up to you to decide. “

Ruth believes, however, that these five people don’t really have Koda.  They’re simply trying to take advantage of the young women who is desperate to get him back.

And what they’re doing is illegal.

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